Louisville comic makes late night debut

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville comic is making a name for himself on the national stage. WDRB caught up with him to talk about his career, how he incorporates Kentucky in his acts and staying humble.

Raanan Hershberg was 13 and at his bar mitzvah when he realized he might have a knack for comedy. His first big laugh was by chance.

"Comedians are kind of introverted and neurotic, and they're not usually cracking up their class," Hershberg said.

The Manual High School grad went to college in New York. It's where he got his first taste on stage.

"I bombed. I didn't do well. I remember I literally stole a joke from the TV show, 'Wings'," he said.

He kept going. "It's as much about writing as it about just kind of being aware at all times of what can possibly be funny," he said.

He combined his hobby for comedy with screenwriting. "I did comedy one time, and I remember, wow, I thought of some stupid thing that day, said it that night, and already way more people saw it than anyone who read my screenplay. So, it was the instant gratification," Hershberg said.

Hershberg made his way back to Louisville, doing comedy at Bard's Town while attending University of Louisville. "It's my favorite place. It's where I started comedy. It's where I did so many early shows. It's where I really learned how to be a comedian," he said.

This is also where he started "The Roast", mainly of icons and fictional characters.

"Once you start doing it, it's hard to give up. You know what I mean? It just becomes a part of you," he said.  

The series drew big crowds.

"The best feeling is when new stuff is working," Hershberg said.

It expanded to Chicago and Long Island City clubs.

He's performed in many small towns.

"I yell a lot. That's probably the biggest thing," he said.

The 35-year-old's biggest break was last month at the Late Late Show with James Corden.

"He said I was brilliant afterwards, but he is British. So, that could've meant either brilliant the American way or brilliant the British way, which is just serviceable. I have no idea. I didn't ask," Hershberg said.

It opened some doors. However, the Louisville native who's his own toughest critic, remembers his roots, ready for that next big call.

Hershberg who lives in New York is set to be back in town to perform at the Bard's Town May 8 and 9 at 8 p.m.

He also has a new album available called, Downhill Ever Since. It's available wherever you listen to music.

For more information, click here.

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